What happens before counselling?
A counsellor will make contact with you or your parent/carer to invite you to a “Needs Assessment”, which is a conversation that is arranged at a time that suits you. The purpose of it is to gather information about your experiences, how you are feeling and coping and for you to ask any questions you may have about the counselling process.
The Needs Assessment will help you decide whether you want to have counselling support at this time. If you do choose to access counselling your first appointment will be arranged for a day and time that works for you. If you do not choose to access counselling then that is ok as you can always get back in touch again in the future if you change your mind.
It is important that counselling is offered to you at the right time so it is helpful and meaningful to you.
What happens during counselling?
At your first counselling session you will have the opportunity to work on your goals for therapy, which your counsellor can help you with if you would like them to. You will then be offered a weekly counselling appointment and you will be told how many sessions you can have, with each session lasting for around 50 minutes.
Your counselling journey involves exploring your thoughts and feelings through talking, drawing and creative activities until you find their meaning. Counselling helps you to discover ways in which you can respond to your emotions, which are often called 'coping strategies'. You might also identify things you would like to change so your counsellor can help you find ways to problem solve too.
If you decide at any time that you don’t want to continue with your counselling sessions that’s ok, just let your counsellor know as they will understand and accept your reason to end.
At the end of counselling
As your agreed number of counselling sessions comes to an end your counsellor will let you know how many sessions you have remaining so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to you. Saying goodbye is not always an easy thing for anyone to say so your counsellor will talk to you about how you would like to approach this. Working towards an ending allows time for you to reflect on your counselling experience and explore any thoughts and feelings you have about it coming to an end.